Bribie Island notes - October 1st 2011

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Bribie Island notes - October 1st 2011
From: Trevor Ford <>
Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2011 21:00:09 +1000

A few notes on recent sightings on Bribie Island, some 50 km north of Brisbane, Qld.

Today, October 1st, I was driving towards the Kakadu Beach shorebird roost when I noticed a distant flock of birds over the road ahead. They were circling, so unlikely to be the Topknot Pigeons that Bribie has been hosting recently. I drove quickly towards them and, as I got closer, thought they were going to turn out to be Little Black Cormorants - but when I hopped out of the car for a better look I realised that they were Australasian Darters, all 85 of them! It was an amazing sight, watching them circling overhead; I don't think that I've ever seen more than four together on Bribie Island previously. There were very strong westerly winds blowing all morning - could this have been responsible for the influx? Any other recent reports of such numbers from coastal SEQ?

Buckley's Hole later held 16 Australasian Darters, by far the most I've heard of occurring there together. In the past few days at Buckley's Hole there have been 14 Nankeen Night Herons (all present in the same tree yesterday), 4 White-necked Herons, a Latham's Snipe, 2 Comb-crested Jacanas, 9 Wandering Whistling Ducks, etc., etc. Further to the recent postings on egret identification, there are currently 5-10 individuals each of Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, often next to each other and affording great comparison opportunities. The free comparison sheet of egrets and cormorants, featuring photographs taken by Bob Inglis, could prove useful.

There are now plenty of shorebirds roosting at Kakadu Beach but no sign today or yesterday of the Broad-billed Sandpiper of a week or so ago. There are, however, at least 28 Red Knots, with several in breeding plumage, as are several of the 100+ Great Knots. Of the 1500+ Bar-tailed Godwits, several were immature birds (probably 10+ but difficult to count accurately when they're huddled together in gale-force winds and braving the resultant sand storm). I understand that this is quite an early date for immature godwits to appear here.

Cheers - Trevor Ford.

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